CHAPTER 15. TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
87. FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Notwithstanding Chapter 6 the first President of the Republic shall-
- be such person as shall have been elected prior to the Day of Independence by an electoral college constituted for that purpose by the Representative Assembly sitting with the Presidents of the Regional Councils if then established;
- assume office on the Day of Independence and hold office in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
88. FIRST PRIME MINISTER AND OTHER MINISTERS
The persons who immediately before the Day of Independence hold office as Chief Minister or any other Minister shall as from that day hold office as Prime Minister or other Minister, as the case may be, as if they had been elected or appointed thereto under Chapter 7.
89. FIRST PARLIAMENT
- The persons who immediately before the Day of Independence are members of the Representative Assembly shall on that day become members of Parliament and shall hold their seats in Parliament in accordance with the Constitution.
- The person who immediately before the Day of Independence holds the office of Chairman of the Representative Assembly shall as from that day act in the office of Speaker of Parliament until a person is elected to hold that office.
- The standing orders of the Representative Assembly in force immediately before the Day of Independence shall have effect as from that day as the standing orders of Parliament until modified or replaced under Article 21(5) but shall be construed with such adaptations as may be necessary to bring them into conformity with the Constitution.
- Parliament shall, unless sooner dissolved, stand dissolved on the 14 November 1983.
90. EXISTING OFFICES
- Subject to the other provisions of the Constitution, a person who immediately before the Day of Independence holds or acts in an office in the service of the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu shall, as from that day, hold or act in that office or the corresponding office established by or under the Constitution on the same terms and conditions as those on which he holds or acts in the office immediately before that day.
- Subarticle (1) is without prejudice to the power of Parliament to provide for the compulsory retirement of non-citizen officers to promote localisation of offices.
- Notwithstanding Article 57(2), until a citizen of Vanuatu is qualified for appointment to a public office a non-citizen may be appointed to that office but, except in the case of a judge of the Supreme Court, shall be appointed for a limited period.
91. JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT
Notwithstanding Chapter 8, any person who immediately before the Day of Independence holds office as a judge of the pre Independence Supreme Court or of a District Court shall as from that day act in the office of judge of the Supreme Court until a substantive appointment is made to that office in accordance with Chapter 8. The President of the Republic may appoint one of them to act as Chief Justice until a substantive appointment is made to that office.
92. RIGHTS, LIABILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS
- All rights, liabilities and obligations of the Government of the New Hebrides, whether arising out of contract or otherwise, shall, as from the Day of Independence, be rights, liabilities and obligations of the Republic of Vanuatu.
- Nothing in subarticle (1) shall prevent the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu renegotiating rights, liabilities or obligations assumed under that subarticle.
93. ELECTORAL SYSTEM
After the general elections next following the Exchange of Notes providing for the entry into force of this Article, the Representative Assembly shall set up a Committee with equal representation of all political groups to make recommendations on an electoral system based on Article 17(1).
The recommendations of the Committee shall be included in a law enacted by Parliament by a two-thirds majority of its members at a special sitting of Parliament when at least three-fourths of the members are present. If there is no such quorum at the first sitting, Parliament may meet and make a decision by the same majority a week later even if only two thirds of the members are present.
94. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
All legal proceedings, whether civil or criminal, pending immediately before the Day of Independence before any court in Vanuatu shall be disposed of on and after that day in accordance with general or specific directions given by the Supreme Court subject to any law which may be enacted for that purpose.
95. EXISTING LAW
- Until otherwise provided by Parliament, all Joint Regulations and subsidiary legislation made thereunder in force immediately before the Day of Independence shall continue in operation on and after that day as if they had been made in pursuance of the Constitution and shall be construed with such adaptations as may be necessary to bring them into conformity with the Constitution.
- Until otherwise provided by Parliament, the British and French laws in force or applied in Vanuatu immediately before the Day of Independence shall on and after that day continue to apply to the extent that they are not expressly revoked or incompatible with the independent status of Vanuatu and wherever possible taking due account of custom.
- Customary law shall continue to have effect as part of the law of the Republic of Vanuatu.